Cancer Society poll: Public concerned about health care

Two-thirds of Americans want Congress to improve health coverage for the uninsured, and favor raising the federal excise tax on tobacco to fund improved, more accessible health care and biomedical research, according to polls conducted by Penn & Schoen Associates for the American Cancer Society.

Fifty-four percent of individuals polled said they were very concerned about the rapid changes in the health care system caused by managed care organizations. And 74% were concerned about the quality of care provided by managed care organizations if they or a family member were diagnosed with a specific illness.

"There is great concern among the American public that with the rapid changes in health maintenance organizations and other types of managed care, quality of care is being compromised. We fear this might put cancer patients at risk of not being able to access the specialty care they need in a timely manner," says Harmon Eyre, MD, executive vice president of research and cancer control for the American Cancer Society.

Following are names and telephone numbers of sources quoted in this issue:

PMC, Virginia Beach, VA; Joe Olivo, president. Telephone: (757) 547-1680.

Columbia, Richmond, VA, division; Amy Showalter, orthopedics market manager. Telephone: (804) 289-5645.

Advanced Orthopaedics, Richmond, VA; Douglas E. Jessup, MD, MBA, surgeon. Telephone: (804) 270-1305.

Hooper, Lundy & Bookman, Los Angeles; Bob Lundy, partner. Telephone: (310) 551-8111.

Mercy Health Care, Sacramento; Jerry Royer, MD, MBA, chief medical officer and senior vice president. Telephone: (916) 851-2011.